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Chivas USA-Rapids Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE
(AP) -- The Colorado Rapids have been unable to get much going on the offensive side lately.
The return of the club's all-time leading scorer could add some punch.
Conor Casey is expected to play for the first time since July as the host Rapids try to avoid their first four-game losing streak in five seasons Saturday night against Chivas USA.
Since totaling four goals in victories over Columbus and Philadelphia to open the season, Colorado (3-4-0) has scored four in five games. The Rapids' only goal during their current three-game skid was by Omar Cummings in the 63rd minute of last Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Los Angeles.
Cummings ended the team's 242-minute scoreless streak, but he also missed a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time.
"It was another hard loss to take," coach Oscar Pareja told the Rapids' official website.
Colorado's last four-game losing streak was a five-game slide June 2-28, 2007.
Chivas will look to extend its point streak against Chivas (3-4-0) to six with Casey likely to play for the first time since suffering a ruptured Achilles' on July 16 against Seattle.
The veteran striker, whose 48 goals are the most in franchise history, was supposed to return last Saturday but was dealing with a case of strep throat and a slight groin problem.
"I just noticed a little tightness," Casey told MLS' official website. "I'm trying to keep my eye on that and just trying to keep working on it this week to make sure it's strong."
Casey has five goals in his last six matches versus Chivas.
He missed the most recent meeting, a 2-all draw in Commerce City on Aug. 20 which ended the Rapids' four-game winning streak in this series.
Chivas makes the first of two visits to Colorado this season following a 1-0 home loss to Philadelphia last Saturday that ended its modest two-match winning streak.
The club has lost all four of its home games by a 1-0 margin, but it has outscored opponents 4-1 while opening 3-0-0 on the road for the first time.
"This obviously wasn't the result we wanted, but we take great confidence in the way we played," midfielder Ryan Smith told Chivas' official website. "This week the emphasis is on finishing our chances and hopefully we can go to Colorado and do that."
Chivas is 0-2-1 visiting the Rapids since a 2-1 victory May 24, 2008.
Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, one shy of tying the club record with a 25th clean sheet, has stopped seven of nine shots during the five-game point streak in this series.
Chivas' Juan Pablo Angel returned last Saturday after missing five games with a concussion. Angel has four goals and an assist in his last seven games against the Rapids and scored in the last meeting in Colorado - his first goal after being acquired from Los Angeles.
Updated April 27, 2012